The Walking Dead – Season 1, Episode 4: “Vatos”

Created by: Robert Kirkman, Frank Darabont

Cast: Andrew Lincoln, Jon Bernthal, Sarah Wayne Callies,Laurie Holden, Jeffrey DeMunn, Steven Yeun, Chandler Riggs

Synopsis: Rick, T-Dogg, Daryl, and Glenn seek to retrieve both their weapons and Daryl’s brother Merle from Atlanta.   Merle it seems has managed to cut off his hand to escape the cufflinks he was in, and it seems there is another group of survivors just as interested in the guns as Rick and his cohort.   Meanwhile, Jim is freaking out back at camp in response to what he believes was a prophetic dream.

With this, the fourth episode of The Walking Dead, I am becoming more at ease to the changes that have been made to the source material, and there is one very good reason why this is the case.   The drama that is on display with this instalment is well worth the addition of more characters and the expansion of the overall story.   One cannot forget that technically, what we are watching is still the first trade paperback in the graphic novel series, and this story has been craftily blended with the new material.   Another great thing about this episode, however, is that a very significant moment still occurs from the source material, and even though I knew it was coming, that still did not take away from its overall impact.

Now I am getting used to the new characters being present, even the ones that were initially annoying.   The slow-burn drama of the show allows for each of these characters to be explored to the same in-depth quality as the characters that were directly taken from the graphic novels without sacrificing their overall story.   Daryl is, despite all his faults, a dedicated brother.   T-Dogg may have come across at first as a stereotype, but now he is an emotionally aware human being, and there are hints at an inner strength as a result.

The actual expanded story is quite incredible too.   The hostile group that Rick and company meet in Atlanta have their own needs and desires for survival.   They abduct Glenn to get the guns, but the question is raised whether their desperation is any less valid than that of the group that our story is following.   In this respect, the series is starting to reflect the books very well, as the great thing about them is that they examine the psychology of survival rather than just having the zombies around as an excuse for blood and guts.

Despite my original concerns with the series, I am finding myself being drawn in.   I still prefer the source, but I am now more able to enjoy both for what they are.

4 stars out of 5

 

The Walking Dead on IMDB

 

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